Real-world Minecraft Maps




Introduction: Real-world Minecraft Maps

About: Making the most of things by making the most out of things.

Have you ever wanted to farm pigs in your school? Or fill the local pool with TNT? Or soar gracefully over your local park which is full of skeletons?

This software allows you to create real places as Minecraft maps for you to explore and remodel as you see fit. It uses Google maps and LIDAR data to build up a to-scale version of an area.

I found this software on Github a few years ago and had a great time wandering around cities and towns that I knew in real life. But when I tried to share it with friends, I found that the level of assumed knowledge on the original page was a large barrier to entry. This is my attempt to make a guide for this software to make it as user friendly as possible so that more people can enjoy remodelling, destroying, decorating, mining and crafting in their home towns.

Step 1: Linux or Windows

The Github page has a full set of instructions for using this software and if you are familiar with Linux then it should be simple enough to follow on it's own. But if you use Windows, then things get more complicated.

This is a guide to running this software on Windows 10 computers with step-by-step instructions to navigate the daunting world of terminals.

Step 2: Files

Head to Github (a place where programmers can share and collaborate on projects) and click the "Clone or download" button on the right. Download the zip and extract it somewhere convenient on your computer.

Alternately, you can use the files attached to this step.

Step 3: Ubuntu on Windows

The simplest way to run this software on Windows is to pretend to be running it on Linux. To do this, you need to install 'Ubuntu on Windows', found here.

It is simple to use, but you need to change some settings on your computer before it works (see pictures for the error you get if you don't change anything).

As it says on the instructions: 'To use this feature, one first needs to use "Turn Windows features on or off" and select "Windows Subsystem for Linux", click OK, reboot, and use this app'

To do this, start typing 'Turn Windows' into the start menu and select the option it gives you. Then scroll down to 'Windows subsystem for Linux' and select it, before rebooting your computer.

You should now have access to all the functionality of a Linux terminal on your Windows machine, congrats!

Step 4: Using the Terminal

When you first boot up Ubuntu on Windows, it will ask you to choose a username and password. Don't worry if it looks like the password is not typing anything, it is, it just doesn't show it.

You should then see some green writing which looks like "username@DESKTOP-numbers". This is where you will type the commands for the computer.

Two basic commands that are good to learn are "ls" and "cd". If you type "ls", it will show you all the files that are saved in the directory you are in (Documents, Pictures etc.). "cd" will change directory and let you move around through the computer.

Definitely have a play with this if you are not familiar (the rest of your computer is accessible via "cd /mnt/c/"), but for now we will just cover what you need to get this software running.

Type "cd /mnt/c/FILEPATH", where FILEPATH is where you stored your unzipped files from Github.

For example, my files were stored in: /mnt/c/Users/Beth/Documents/Tools/geocraft-master/geocraft-master/

As you can see in the image above, typing "ls" shows me the files in this folder.

Step 5: Generating a World

Before we get to the fun bit, we need to make sure some extra files are installed or it won't work.

Type each of the following lines and press enter after each one:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install liblocal-lib-perl cpanminus build-essential

sudo cpan -f Archive::Zip

Now, you should be able to run the program.


./generate-world --postcode SO171BJ --size 1000 Highfield

You can replace the bit after 'postcode' with the postcode you want to build, but make sure you don't put any spaces in it. You can also change the size, but bigger maps will take longer to build. Highfield is the name of the file you will make, you can change this too.

Generating the world takes a long time, so be patient.

Step 6: Moving Files to Minecraft

How to move your files into your minecraft world

The file will be saved to the 'saves' folder in geocraft-master. Copy the whole folder with the name you chose (Highfield in the example) so it can be moved over to where your Minecraft saves are stored.

Minecraft files are stored in a hidden file, so they are hard to find normally. To get there quickly, press the windows key + R at the same time, this should bring up the Run program.

Type %appdata% into the search and it will take you into the hidden file. From here your Miecraft saves should be found in Roaming/minecraft/saves. Copy the whole folder into here.

Step 7: Finished!

You should now be all set to load up Minecraft and explore the world!

I haven't experimented yet with postcodes outside of the UK, so please do let me know if it works if you try it.

All due credit to the creator of the software whose details can be found on the Github page.

Happy crafting!

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    2 years ago

    Have you heard bout the Minecraft Terra 1:1 project? This could really help them out and save months of building.


    Question 3 years ago

    I am having trouble with the part where i am supposed to do "./generate-world --(my postalcode) SO171BJ --size 1000 Highfield"

    it sends me with ./generate-world: No such file or directory


    Question 5 years ago

    Thank you VERY much for this, one question please, is there an option (or another tool) to do the same job, but by using Sattelite images?


    Answer 5 years ago

    Not that I've come across, but if I ever do, I will put a link to it here.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    5 years ago

    How cool! What is the coolest real-life location you've explored in Minecraft?


    Reply 5 years ago

    The centre of London was quite exciting, but my favourite place is my own neighbourhood!
    Step 5 shows the houses of parliament and the London eye :)